Spring 2022 - EDUC 341 OL01

Literacy, Education and Culture (3)

Class Number: 4042

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:


  • Prerequisites:

    60 units including three units in EDUC courses.



What counts as literacy and whose literacies are valued? What does this mean for the organization of societies, and for teaching and learning? How is literacy implicated in projects of social ordering, colonialism, oppression and empowerment? This course explores these questions through case studies, histories, policies and place-based investigations of literacy education across the life course and inside and outside formal schooling. Breadth-Humanities.


The goal of this course is to prepare current and future educators, and students of culture and society, to incorporate a literacy lens into their education practice, and to participate in current debates and policies that are shaping literacy education in school and community settings. The course themes and concepts are designed for current and future educators, although anyone working (or hoping to work) in community-based social services, social movements and informal learning will benefit from insights and skills for integrating a literacy lens into their practice. The delivery format is asynchronous with weekly activities and group discussions distributed along the term: 

Week 1 - Introduction: Working Together in this Course.

Weeks 2, 3 and 4 - Module 1: What is literacy?

Weeks 5 and 6 - Module 2: Politics and Power

Week 7 – no classes – Reading break

Weeks 8 and 9 - Module 3: Cultures

Weeks 10 and 11 - Module 4: Pedagogies

Weeks 12 and 13 - Module 5: Digital Literacies

Weeks 14 – Course Reflection & Expansion



Course learning outcomes deepen and expand upon these premises and are the organizing logic for each of the six modules in this course. Students will learn:

  • To study literacy as a window into society, power and education systems;
  • To appreciate the value and diversity of different literacies and writing systems as these relate to different cultures, historical moments, and ways of knowing and being;
  • To understand literacy as a political force; how literacy can empower but also be used as a mode of social control;
  • To become familiar with literacy education work outside of schools (such as in community education, adult learning centres, youth literacy, family literacy, social justice projects and so on);
  • To recognize and evaluate different methods for teaching and learning literacies;
  • To critically evaluate digital literacies and the future of literacy in an algorithmic world;
  • To develop multimodal literacy skills (skills that go beyond print to present information in different ways)


  • Succeeding and Navigating in the course- Introductory Readings and Activities during week 1 5%
  • Quizzes- One quiz at the end of each Module 20%
  • Experiential Activities- Posted by the end of weeks 2, 3, 5, 8, 10, 12 30%
  • Facilitation of Experiential Activities- only during one of the weeks 3, 4, 6, 9, 11 & 13 (to be chosen during weeks 1 and 2). 15%
  • Course Reflection & Expansion -Week 14 30%


There is no prescribed text for this course. The required readings are available online or through the SFU library.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.